Haul Out

When I first started traveling to Deer Island in the Passamaquoddy Bay, I had an opportunity to rediscover a particularly cool method of mooring a small boat, appropriate for waters with large tidal ranges. The local name for it is a “haul-out”. It is a version of mooring for a dinghy or tender that I had run into before, but it is such a great system and so simple that I though it deserved some form of recognition.
           The system is made up of three parts: an anchor, a long piece of line made up into a loop, and two shore rings. There are divided camps concerning whether to use floating or sinking line, however, I am not sure that there is a correct answer; I think it may be dependant on the location.
           The ground anchor is simple, often a granite block with a staple and ring, or a concrete block with staple and ring.


           The idea is for the anchor to be placed far enough off the shoreline so that when the tide is all the way out the anchor is still in enough water to allow a small boat to float near it. One version of the anchor is a concrete block made by partly filling a plastic trashcan with cement and setting staple and ring into the cement. When the concrete is cured, the block can be dumped out of the trashcan. It is now possible to roll the block on it side, at low tide, down into waist deep water and stand it right side up; something not easily done with a granite block .
           With the anchor set, the line is now run out from the shore, through the ring in the anchor and back to the shore where it passes through the two shore rings and is tied to itself in a continuous loop. The two shore rings should be about eight feet apart to keep the line from becoming twisted.

Haul out sytem

           The idea is that you can eliminate carrying or dragging your boat up and down a beach. At any tide you can land, tie your boat to the line, and haul your boat out into deep water, and at any tide you can retrieve your boat by hauling in on the line and bringing the boat in to the beach.           There is a another version that uses a weir pole driven either into a mud bottom, or into a large granite block that has a hole drilled in it (this is the version I remember seeing as a child  in some of the island communities in Maine). The Pole method allows for the offshore ring to be attached to a float that goes around the pole and rises and falls with the tide. The pole in granite block version was used where there was a granite bottom and a pole could not be driven into the bottom and in some communities, I understand that the poles and blocks were brought ashore in winter to prevent ice damage.

Weir pole Haul out

This picture of our tender on her haul out in NorthWest Harbour. Note the black lines in the left foreground going out and back to the anchor.

Haul out


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